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Maelstrom Mashup.

  • I can’t figure out why it’s spelled T-O-R-O-N-T-O but I pronounce it as “Toronno.”  I do not have a lazy mouth.  I speak reasonably clearly.  Why is my tongue tangled on this word?
  • See also:  wadder : water
  • I wander onto this site last night and it is so aptly named:  The Happiest Place on the Internet.  Once I was past the “Hey, they are hugging the … okay, they are hugging the computer” mindset, it was really lovely to watch.  The song is tear-jerky.  The Bobba Fett hug is quality.  The one where the grandmotherly lady says, “Oh, hi sweetie!” and issues a hug with her teacup by her hip made me cry.
  • This post from Melissa is amazing, and inspiring.  I like her pledge.  I already pledged to run like a velociraptor is chasing me.
  • I ate taco meat and cannellini beans for breakfast.  With like three sides of coffee.  My palette is really effed up, as are the contents of my fridge.
  • This week, I’ll be in San Diego for TCOYD, and next week, I’ll be in Melbourne for the IDF World Congress.  I’m preemptively and happily jet-lagged already.
  • Technologically-speaking, what do people with diabetes want?  {video}
  • The Glucocoaster?  Hell yes – who hasn’t gone for a ride now and again?  (Mostly now.  And then again.)
  • “Why do dinosaurs have big tummies?” “Do Thanksgiving turkeys speak French?” “Why isn’t there cookie salad?” “Can we live on the moon next year?” “Rhinoceroses are jealous of spoons, you know.”  Life with a three year old is getting pretty fucking weird.
  • Good ol’ Jerry the Bear made Upworthy.  And that makes me beary happy.  (Shut up.)
  • “And so instead of getting mad at myself for not having done a ‘better job,’ whether it be as a crime victim or a diabetic, I’m trying to be more gentle towards myself. I’m also adopting a new motto: ‘Don’t be an asshole.’  It’s a message that I’d definitely like to suggest to my mugger — but it also applies to my relationship with myself.”  Must-read post from A Sweet Life’s Catherine Price.
  • More coffee, please.

Stigmatized Secrets.

I’ve spent the last few weeks keeping watch on the My Diabetes Secrets Tumblr account (a version of Diabetes PostSecret – more here) and these two submissions keep leaping out at me:

The submissions as stand-alone pieces make me feel like I’m trying to shove limitless emotions into a Ziploc bag, but what kills me is that these were submitted anonymously.  There’s still something about diabetes, and the fear and stigma associated with this disease and all its iterations, that keeps people from feeling empowered/supported enough to say this shit out loud.

This week, I received an email from some PR company professing that diabetes is a disease of numbers and control, and when lab work is “in range,” the disease essentially melts away into insignificance.

Oh yeah?

It’s high time for the psychosocial impact of diabetes to be acknowledged.  People living with diabetes aren’t ruled entirely by our pancreases … there’s a lot of heart thrown in there, too.

For more anonymous secrets, check out My Diabetes Secret.

On Paper.

“So you write a blog about diabetes?  Don’t you run out of things to write about?”

A really nice lady at the JDRF event past weekend posed this question to me.

There’s always something, some bit of minutiae to chose to chronicle.  Maybe the blood sugar of 70 mg/dL coupled with a southeasterly Dexcom arrow that woke me up at 3 am.  Could be the realization that I haven’t changed my lancet in mumble mumble days.  Or my husband’s question – “Do we have AA batteries?” – and my immediate thought of “I use them in the pump.  I hope we do!”

Could be that every meal, every snack, every bit of exercise, every time before I drive, every time I pee (“Is this high blood sugar or is this just … pee?”) … so many moments take something diabetes-related into account.  It’s not “woe is we” but sometimes just whoa, because diabetes can take up a lot of thought space.

“No, there’s pretty much always something to write about,” I answered.

And her face fell a little bit, and I realized she was asking not for herself, but for her son who was living with type 1 diabetes.  I didn’t realize that the underlying question wasn’t about writing prompts but more, “Will diabetes always be on his mind?”

Diabetes will always be on his mind, just a little.  Just enough to keep tabs on it.  Sometimes more often, depending on the needs of his body and his mind.

But even though there will be so many moments when diabetes is taken into consideration throughout the course of our lives with it, they’re just moments.  They don’t define his whole life.

“There’s always something to write about, but I chose to write about these diabetes things and to focus on them.” I amended, wanting to hug her.  “I’m not highlighting these moments in my life … just on paper.”

She smiled, looking relieved.  “On screen, right?”

“Exactly.”

 

Another #DayOfDiabetes, Twitter-Style.

For World Diabetes Day yesterday, I attempted to participate in another round of #dayofdiabetes, using Twitter to log the different nuances of a day with type 1 diabetes.  It was a tougher day than normal, Internet-wise, because I spent the morning in the plane and the rest of the afternoon with very limited access to Wifi, but it was World Diabetes Day, damn it, so I wanted to try.

My #dayofdiabetes started early … like 2.10 am kind of early, with a low blood sugar and a buzzing Dexcom:

But thankfully, glucose tabs handy on the bedside table made fixing this number easier:

Glucose tabs help keep me from over-treating, because they are carefully portioned out and not appealing enough to have an urge to eat sixty of them.   It feels like a win, not over-treating a nasty middle-of-the-night low.  I was relieved to check in the morning and see that I wasn’t off the charts.

And then I was off to the races … or more specifically, the airport, to travel to Mississauga for the Peel Chapter JDRF Research Symposium.

The low from the night before still hung around in the form of exhaustion, though.

And airport food offerings weren’t substantial enough to fix what ailed me.

Later in the evening, it was time to dress/device juggle:

Never a simple task, especially with disco boobs:

The night at the World Diabetes Day event was lovely, but I did miss participating in the discussions online, particularly the World Diabetes Day 24 hour chat that took place all day yesterday.  Community and peer-to-peer connections keep me as healthy as my insulin does, some days.

And this morning it all starts again, with a blood glucose check on my meter and that instant yearning for a cup of coffee.

Every day is a #dayofdiabetes in my life, wifi or not.  It was amazing, catching up on the Twitter feeds of others who were participating yesterday.  I learn so much about how individualized everyone’s diabetes truly is through this project.

Here is some info, if you’d like to participate in a #dayofdiabetes, and a primer on Twitter and the diabetes community.

 

World Diabetes Day 2013.

“You have diabetes  You seem fine.” “I am fine.”
Diabetes makes me walk the precarious fine line
Between “I’m sick” and “I’m not” and the whole in-between
That makes diabetes invisible, and yet so seen.

“Needles?  Every day?  I could never,”
You could.  And you would, and you’d do it forever
If that’s what kept you from good life or harm,
You’d never think twice of needles in your arm.

“You seem fine.”  “I am fine, at least I think?”
I try not to let it push me to the brink
But even my best days are still diabetic
And on some days I feel frustrated, mad, or pathetic.

I can follow the rules and try to appease
The needs and requirements of relentless disease,
But even my best days are burnt at the edge
By the efforts that work their way in like a wedge.

“You seem fine.”  I am fine, except days when I’m not.
But I do what I’m told, and I learn what I’m taught.
And I’ll keep working harder to keep from the claws
Of an illness that doesn’t do “rewind” or “pause.”

Will it stop me?  It might, I can’t lie – and that’s scary
But between now and then, I throw all these hail marys.
It’s life, and it’s mine, and I won’t let it bear
The weight of a heart and mind wraught with fear.

There are miles to run, and children to hold.
There are travels to have, and stories to be told.
Diabetes?  Intense, and it looms, and it’s giant
But I’m more than my pancreas.  I’ve become self-reliant.

I may host beta cells that checked out long ago
But I refuse to accept the assumed status quo.
I’ll work harder, think smarter.  I’m not resigned
To accept limitation.  I live life undefined.

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